Biden news – live: President approves airstrike in Syria as police fear plot to ‘blow up’ Capitol during SOTU

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In what may have been his first major war-fighting move as president, Joe Biden signed off on an airstrike in Syria that targeted a structure believed to belong to an Iran-backed militia, officials told Reuters.

The strike may have been in response to rocket attacks against the US in Iraq last week, and comes as the US and Iran seek to re-instate their nuclear agreement, which the Trump administration scrapped.

It comes as Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader and most powerful elected Republican in the country, said he would back Donald Trump were he to receive the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

“Absolutely,” Mr McConnell said when asked about such a scenario, despite his previous condemnation of Mr Trump’s role in inciting the Capitol insurrection last month.

Key stories:


Golden Trump statue at CPAC attracts scorn

A golden statue of Donald Trump spotted at CPAC overnight is attracting scorn from critics, who see it as summing up the GOP’s inability to move past the disgraced former US president.

“This is what the Republican Party has reduced itself to. Worshippers of the golden Trump,” tweeted Joyce Alene, a law professor at the University of Alabama.

Economist David Rothschild compared the statue to the biblical adoration of the golden calf.

Tom Embury-Dennis26 February 2021 11:52


Opinion: The walls are closing in on Trump. Soon he’ll be a prisoner of Mar a Lago

The walls are closing in on Donald Trump. Not the big, beautiful walls on the southern border, but potential felony charges in New York, Atlanta and Washington, DC.

Trump’s own impeachment lawyer posed the odd defense that the time to “go and arrest him” would be “after he’s out of office” during the Senate trial in which he was ultimately acquitted. Mitch McConnell, in his head-snapping mea culpa, also invoked criminal remedies at the time: “We have a criminal justice system in this country,” he said, adding, “and former presidents are not immune from being accountable.”

So where does that leave us?

Read more here:

Tom Embury-Dennis26 February 2021 11:07


Police warn Trump supporters want to launch another assault on US Capitol

Militia groups want to “blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible” in connection with Joe Biden’s upcoming State of the Union address, the US Capitol police chief has said.

Yogananda Pittman argued an increased law enforcement presence at the Capitol should be maintained ahead of Mr Biden’s first address to Congress.

She told members of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday that her agency is aware of far-right militia groups that participated in the Capitol insurrection on 6 January that have “stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified”.

Tom Embury-Dennis26 February 2021 10:35


Kremlin ‘closely monitoring’ Syria situation after US air strikes

The Kremlin said on Friday it was closely monitoring the situation in Syria following US air strikes there and that it was in constant contact with the Syrian authorities.

President Joe Biden on Thursday directed US military air strikes in eastern Syria against facilities belonging to what the Pentagon said were Iran-backed militia, in a calibrated response to rocket attacks against US targets in Iraq.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that he could not say whether the US had notified Russia of its plans in advance, adding that operational contacts were made through the military.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

(Alexander Zemlianichenko/Reuters)

Reuters26 February 2021 10:11


Biden schedule for Friday

According to Joe Biden’s public daily schedule, the US president and first lady Jill Biden will today visit Texas to meet volunteers responding to the state’s deep freeze and to deliver a speech at a vaccination centre.

It also shows that the White House’s Covid-19 response team will hold a press briefing at 11am.


Tom Embury-Dennis26 February 2021 09:45


Lauren Boebert hints she’s still taking gun to Congress in spite of Pelosi rules

Freshman representative Lauren Boebert on Thursday hinted that she still brings a firearm “to work” at Congress, even though members are forbidden from carrying guns inside the House floor under new rules following the Capitol insurrection on 6 January.

In an interview with TMZ on Thursday, Ms Boebert, who was on her way to the Congress when she spoke to a reporter, was asked if at some point she feels she’d be able to carry a gun to work.

“Who says I don’t,” responded the Republican politician.

Read more here:

Namita Singh26 February 2021 09:23


GOP 2024 candidates ‘all have Trump as their last name’

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has said that Republican presidential candidates for 2024 “all have Trump as their last name”.

Mr Meadows told Fox News Donald Trump’s CPAC speech on Sunday will mark the “start of planning for the next administration”, as the brewing Republican Party civil war – between pro- and anti-Trump wings – looks set to escalate over the coming months.

Tom Embury-Dennis26 February 2021 08:56


Lara Trump gives strongest signal yet that’s she’s running in 2022: ‘Stay tuned’

Lara Trump, the daughter-in-law of Donald Trump, has hinted that she is open to the idea of running for Senate from North Carolina in 2022 after incumbent senator Richard Burr’s last term at office from the state.

Ms Trump, who was involved in the former president’s campaign, has long been rumoured to be looking at taking a plunge in the US electoral politics.

She is expected to run from her home state for a seat that will become vacant as Mr Burr, 65, has already announced that this would be his last term.

Read more here:

Mayank Aggarwal26 February 2021 08:32


Golden Trump statue at CPAC

Perhaps summing up this year’s vibes at CPAC, a Bloomberg reporter has shared footage showing staff at the annual conservative conference wheeling a golden statue of Donald Trump across the conference floor.

“That’s so cool,” one attendee can be heard saying, while someone chants “Four more years!” – a jokey reference to a popular chant by Trump supporters when he was still president.

Mr Trump is due to give his first post-White House speech at CPAC on Sunday.

Tom Embury-Dennis26 February 2021 07:54


‘Absolutely’: Clip shows McConnell revealing he would back Trump as 2025 GOP nominee

Here’s the clip in which Mitch McConnell, the most powerful elected Republican in the country, says he would “absolutely” support Donald Trump were he to receive the Republican presidential nomination for 2024.

It comes despite Mr McConnell’s public condemnation of the president over his role in inciting the Capitol insurrection last month – an incident the Senate minority leader suggested Mr Trump could be criminally investigated over.

It appears to be quite an about turn by Mr McConnell, who is likely to be watching closely when the former president delivers his first post-White House speech on Sunday at CPAC.

Tom Embury-Dennis26 February 2021 07:22


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